|dc.description.abstract||In Africa, access to resources such as land, water, forest and wildlife reserve areas is a key factor for sustainable development. The scarcity and degradation of these resources in rural environments threatens human security, leading to conflicts. Tanzania is a developing country in the East Africa, where nearly 70% of the land is village land supporting 80% of the population as farmers and agropastoralists. Agropastoralists practice a production system in which they depend (>50% of income generation and sustenance) on livestock, with the remaining portion on crop farming for food. This system entails some family members seasonally travelling large distances with their stock in search of water and pasture for grazing, while others remain at home and practice crop farming during the growing season. Despite the economic importance of pastoralism, most economic development policies in Tanzania perceive pastoralism as unproductive, unorganised, and environmentally destructive. Therefore, agropastoralists are persistently evicted and/or forced to move to marginal areas along the periphery where basic services are lacking. This movement is creating serious land use conflicts and violence between agropastoralists and farmers due to conflicting goals and interests over the same land resources.
Land resource use conflicts related to pastoralism in Tanzania are well documented, but the mechanisms underlying these conflicts are not. Consequently, there is limited understanding of the mechanisms by which agropastoralists gain access to and use of land resources in Morogoro region, and how these mechanisms contribute to conflict between farmers and agropastoralists. To address this gap, an analytical framework was developed (based on Ribot and Peluso’s Access Theory) and modified to fit the Tanzania context. This modified Theory together with the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework were used to identify mechanisms by which agropastoralists gain and control access to and use of land resources, and how these mechanisms contribute positively and negatively to both their wellbeing and the wellbeing of the natural resource base, and to conflicts with farmers in Morogoro region. Additionally, this research employed Social Conflict Theory, which focuses on the dynamics and transformations of conflicts for a better understanding of why and how conflict between farmers and agropastoralists escalate into violence. Lastly, this research assessed the trend and extent of environmental and rangeland degradation, perceived to be caused by the increasing numbers of humans and livestock in Morogoro region.
This research is interdisciplinary, involving both social science and biophysical science (i.e., analysis of land use and cover changes), thus employed multi and interdisciplinary approaches including ethnography, multi-data collection methods, GIS and Remote Sensing techniques, checklist of rangeland assessment indicators, and qualitative (i.e., interviews and discussions) and highly quantitative spatial analysis of Landsat images.
Results demonstrate that agropastoralists use legal and illegal mechanisms to gain and control access to and use of land resources. The legal mechanism involves possession of a certificate for village land. Illegal mechanisms involve: (1) bribing corrupt individuals in authorities, (2) force and coercion, and (3) deceptive and stealthy approaches against farmers and village leaders. These mechanisms helped agropastoralists to sustain their material and financial wellbeing while concurrently compromising other aspects of their current and future wellbeing and compromising the wellbeing of farmers and the natural resources that both communities depend on. The way farmers lose their land by illegal mechanisms (e.g., bribes, force and coercion, and deception and stealth) is a critical factor that contributes significantly to land resource conflicts. However, in contrast to West African countries, where labour and social identity play significant roles in enabling pastoralists to gain and control access to land resources, this study revealed that three mechanisms identified in Access Theory, namely, labour, social identity and knowledge, made no significant contribution in this region of Tanzania. With these findings, a new analytical framework (model) was created that appears to fit well in the East Africa context as opposed to the West African.
Conflicts between farmers and agropastoralists in Morogoro region escalated to violence following the general patterns and transformation dynamics (i.e., process variables) described in Social Conflict Theory. These process variables involve tactics shifting from light to heavy, goals shifting from specific to general, and involvement shifting from few to many. The analysis of conflicts, undertaken by focusing on process variables (conflict dynamics), enabled the identification of new factors (culture, age and gender of participant in the conflict) that helped explain why some conflicts between farmers and agropastoralists escalate to deadly violence. The study recommends that formation of a loose coalition (e.g., Elders’ Tribunal) which includes equal representation of members from the farmer and agropastoralist communities may help solve the current conundrum caused by top-down administrative procedures and practices, which often leads to outcomes that are ineffective and unsatisfactory to all parties.
There are huge changes in land cover and use in the study areas with associated links to environmental and rangeland degradation. The areas covered by forests, woodland/grassland and water have decreased, whereas bare land has increased. These changes were largely associated with a combination of factors such as increased population density of both humans and livestock, and subsequent economic activities including but not limited to charcoal business, timber harvesting, mineral mining, extensive and large-scale cultivation, and keeping of excessive numbers of livestock. Also, this research identified 30 indicators classified into five categories used by agropastoralist and farmer interviewees to assess environmental and rangeland degradation. Of the 30 indicators, 25 came from a pre-prepared checklist of 31 indicators derived from the literature, and the remaining five – soil crusting and cracking and soil muddiness, risk of wildfires, and diversification of livelihoods activities and conflicts over land resources – emerged during interviews. It is recommended that government invest in education that will create greater awareness of the impacts of individual and collective choices of, e.g., livelihood activities for both individual wellbeing and the wellbeing of the natural resource base.||en